Government Technology Featured Article
July 26, 2012
US Internet Companies Forming Lobbying, Advocacy Group with Focus on Congress
By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor
With many U.S. laws now being proposed regulating Internet companies – and technology enterprises under economic pressures this quarter – a trade association of Internet firms is forming.
According to initial reports from Reuters, big companies such as Facebook (News - Alert), Google, Amazon and eBay are among those who are putting the association together. Startups and smaller companies are among the likely members, too. It will start operations in September.Its focus will be technology issues in Congress – and it will likely advocate and lobby from the business’s point of view.
It will be the “first and only trade association representing Internet companies and the interests of their users,” CEO Michael Beckerman told Mashable in a recent report. Its top issues include ensuring there is “a free and open Internet” and preventing “excessive regulation,” Beckerman said.
“Because we don’t know what next innovation is, we need to be mindful of regulation to ensure it doesn’t stifle creativity,” he said. “The Internet is based on creativity and it’s highly competitive.”
The Internet Association will also present information that shows the Internet’s vital role to the overall economy, Mashable added. “Almost every small business uses the Internet and real growth is happening as a result of the Internet,” Beckerman told Mashable. “The companies that are going to be members of this association are web-based, but part of our messaging to the Hill and to regulators is that brick-and-mortar businesses in every part of the country rely on the services of the Internet as well.”
Independent Service Providers are not apparently eligible for membership in the Internet Association. They can join the U.S. Internet Industry Association, Mashable said.
Beckerman is a former deputy staff director at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee is influential in Internet oversight.
In a related matter, Mashable said some companies, non-profits and individuals have formed another group called the Internet Defense League, which advocates for an “open Internet.”
It is noteworthy that Google (News - Alert), which is moving forward to settle an antitrust inquiry in Europe, according to TMCnet, is also being reviewed by antitrust regulators in the U.S. The possible European settlement could become a model for settlements in other regions, according to media reports.
Reuters (News - Alert) said that some of the issues of concern to U.S. Internet companies are visa restrictions on foreign engineers whom they want to hire, privacy, cyber security, revenue repatriation, and sales taxes on Internet companies.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.
Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
LATEST GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY NEWS
Accessible Emergency Information, and Apparatus Requirements for Emergency Information and Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
Designation of Three (3) Individuals Pursuant to Executive Order 13573 of May 18, 2011, 'Blocking Property of Senior Officials of the Government of Syria'
Designation of One (1) Entity Pursuant to Executive Order 13582 of August 17, 2011, 'Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions With Respect to Syria'